Cat Constipation Symptoms, Home Remedies, Causes, and Treatments on MedicineNet
Get rid of any poisonous houseplants that may poison your cat, and put catnip and cat grass in containers near your cat’s favorite perch. Determine whether or not your local garden center sells seedling trays. Grass may be grown in these rectangular trays, which offers your cat with a nice spot to relax while you’re away.
How Can I Tell if My Cat Is Constipated
If your cat exhibits any of the symptoms listed below, you should seek medical attention immediately. These indicators might potentially be signals of a urinary issue, therefore it’s critical that you consult with your veterinarian as soon as as to discover the cause:
- When trying to eliminate, you may find yourself straining or screaming out in agony. Small, dry, firm feces that may be mucous- or blood-stained are typical. Numerous excursions to the litter box that are not fruitful
- Loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and vomiting are all possible symptoms. Manifestations of abdominal pain
- A lack of grooming
What Causes Cats to Become Constipated
There are a variety of reasons why your cat may be having difficulty eliminating:
- Anal sacs that are blocked or abscessed are caused by a low-fiber diet, dehydration, hairballs, and excessive grooming. Prostate gland that has grown in size
- On the buttocks, there is tangled hair
- Excessive ingestion of foreign things such as strings of fabric, bones, and other materials
- Medication-induced adverse reaction Tumor or other blockage of the intestines Obesity
- Obesity-related disorder
- Colon shape or motility that is not usual
How Can I Treat My Cat’s Constipation?
A variety of therapies may be recommended by your veterinarian, depending on what is causing your cat’s constipation. Some of them include:
- An enema is a stool softener that is used to relieve constipation (administered by a professional, not at home, please). Remember that cats are not fond of these treatments, and some over-the-counter enemas include ingredients that can be dangerous to cats if administered to them. This is a technique that should be performed by your veterinarian. The administration of medication to raise the contractile strength of the large intestine
- Constipation is treated through manual evacuation of the bowels. An operation to remove a blockage from the bowels
- Diet rich in fiber, as advised by a veterinarian Including canned pumpkin, bran cereal, or a supplement such as Metamucil in your cat’s food will help to increase fiber intake. Water consumption should be increased, as should physical activity.
Which Cats Are Susceptible to Constipation?
Pets that are elderly frequently experience infrequent or difficult bowel motions. Constipation, on the other hand, can develop in any cat who does not consume enough fiber, does not drink enough water, does not exercise enough, or who suffers from one or more of the reasons of constipation.
Can Constipation Hint at Larger Health Problems?
Yes. Constipation should always be looked into since it might be an indication of diabetes, hyperthyroidism, a blockage of the rectum, or a hernia, among other things.
How Can I Prevent My Cat from Becoming Constipated?
Feed your cat a nutritious, high-fiber food with few treats, and make sure she has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Also, make sure she gets plenty of activity. Regular brushing of your cat’s coat will reduce the likelihood of hairballs forming, which can cause constipation.
When Animal (Allergies) Attack: Symptoms and Treatment for Pet AllergySee also: Slideshow
What Can Happen if Constipation Goes Untreated?
If your cat’s constipation is not improved, she may develop obstipation, which is defined as the inability to empty her colon on her own. During this condition, the colon is overburdened with an uncomfortably large number of excrement, resulting in futile straining, tiredness, appetite loss, and, in severe cases, nausea and vomiting. This can result in the enlargement of your cat’s colon as well as a decrease in the motility of the colon. Content from the ASPCA.org website that is related. Free Pet Safety Pack from the ASPCA’s Virtual Pet Behaviorist in the Pet Care Section References SOURCE: ASPCA (American Society of Preventative Medicine).
9 Ways to Help Your Constipated Cat
Dr. Aja Senestraro, DVMJump to a Section: This section has been reviewed and updated for correctness on March 10, 2020.
- Vet Treatment
- 9 Home Remedies
- And much information.
Constipation is a typical occurrence among felines. Typically, it is moderate, and you may heal your cat by using easy home remedies. Constipation in cats, on the other hand, may be a sign of more significant health problems, and it can become quite severe and painful in certain cases.
So, how do you tell when you’ve got a significant condition that requires veterinary intervention? The following information will teach you all you need to know about cat constipation symptoms and causes, as well as what you can do to treat your cat and when you should be worried.
Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
When you have constipation, you have infrequent stools or stools that are difficult to move through the toilet. The majority of cats will poop around every 24-36 hours. Having constipation might cause your cat to defecate less regularly and have difficulties going through the motions. While there is some typical variance, if it has been more than 48-72 hours since your pet last had a bowel movement, you should call your veterinarian. Constipation in cats manifests itself in the following ways:
- Feces that are dry and hard (either within or outside the litter box)
It is normal for the excrement to be a deep brown hue and to be well-formed when you eat it. Veterinary medicine specialist Dr. Liz Bales explains that “a good stool has enough moisture so litter will attach to it.” Constipation in cats can result in feces that are extremely dry and stiff. Due to the unpleasantness of passing feces, it is possible that cats will leave the litter box before they have completed their business in it.
- The use of crying or straining in the litter box, or the avoidance of the litter box entirely
In addition to vocalizing or straining while using the litter box, moving in and out of the litter box numerous times before using it might indicate discomfort. Your cat may try to poop, but he or she will be unable to do so. If your cat is displaying indications of pain in the litter box, this might be a sign of significant urinary system difficulties, and you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Due to the fact that constipation is truly only a symptom of a larger problem, you may also see indicators of the underlying problem.
- Symptoms include: nausea, decreased appetite, vomiting, increased or decreased water consumption, increased peeing frequency, weight loss, muscle loss, difficulty springing up, and fatigue. Walking with a stiff gait
If you see any of these symptoms in your cat, whether or not they are accompanied by constipation, you should consult your cat’s veterinarian.
Causes of Cat Constipation
“Anything that causes dehydration in a cat may result in constipation,” explains Dr. Bales. “Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors.” Some conditions are minor and may be treated at home with dietary and lifestyle adjustments, while others are more serious and require medical attention. Constipation can occur if the intestines aren’t moving things along as they should be, resulting in the stool being hard and dry. These symptoms can be brought on by several underlying conditions such as stress and anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergies, neurological disorders, and even some types of cancer.
Anal sacs that have ruptured or become impacted may potentially cause your cat discomfort while defecating, as well as constipation.
Constipation can develop if a cat holds her feces for a longer period of time than is typical.
This is because the intestines reabsorb an excessive amount of water when the stool remains in them for an extended period of time. Obesity, stress, and worry, joint discomfort from arthritis or anal gland disorders, a blockage, and even some types of cancer can all contribute to this condition.
Vet Treatment for Constipation in Cats
Constipation in cats is normal, but it can be a sign of a serious illness, therefore it should be explored with your veterinarian. Chronic constipation must be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid the danger of lasting damage caused by prolonged distension of the intestines. In order to provide effective therapy, it is necessary to first diagnose and then repair the underlying problem (if feasible), remove the affected feces, and then avoid recurrences. Your veterinarian can administer fluids and/or anenema to your cat if it is experiencing constipation right away.
The symptoms of your cat’s constipation can be managed with drugs prescribed by your veterinarian or with over-the-counter remedies recommended by your veterinarian.
Cats suffering from chronic constipation or obstruction may develop a megacolon, which is an enlarged intestine caused by a weakness in the colon’s muscular strength, in some cases.
Tips and Home Remedies for Constipation in Cats
You may treat your cat’s constipation by doing a variety of activities at home, as detailed in the following list.
Increase Water Consumption
Because dehydration is a contributing factor to constipation, increasing water consumption and maintaining proper hydration can help avoid constipation. Due to the fact that cats are not very adept at consuming standing water, the most effective method of increasing their water consumption and keeping them well-hydrated is to serve them wet food. This has a major impact on their water consumption, which in turn has a substantial impact on their constipation risk. By providing your cat with multiple water dishes in different places of your home, experimenting with pet water fountains, allowing a faucet to drip, and flavoring the water with items cats enjoy, such as clam juice, tuna juice, or beef broth, you may encourage your cat to drink more water.
Try a New Diet
Cats suffering from food allergies may have intestinal irritation and constipation. It is possible to minimize inflammation and enable the intestines to flow more properly by switching the protein source in your cat’s diet (chicken, lamb, etc.). This will alleviate constipation. Cats that are allergic to a variety of different items might benefit from special limited ingredient diets and hypoallergenic diets, which are both available.
It does, however, take around 8-12 weeks for a diet modification to be effective, thus this is considered part of long-term treatment. Follow the required transition time, which includes combining the old food with the new food according to the directions on the cat food packaging.
Help Your Cat Maintain a Healthy Weight
As a result of obesity-induced intestinal inflammation, digestion in the intestines becomes more labored. Constipation occurs as a result of an excessive amount of water being absorbed from the stool. There can be so much fat in the stomach that it physically prevents feces from moving. In severe situations, this can be life-threatening. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining whether or not your cat needs to reduce weight and can collaborate with you to develop a diet plan.
Increase Exercise and Enrichment
Exercise can aid in the promotion of regular bowel movement, which can aid in the treatment and prevention of constipation. Using items such as cat toys, cat trees, window perches, and additional playing with you, you may encourage your cat to be more active. Exercise will also assist in providing enrichment and reducing your cat’s anxiety, as well as aiding in weight loss for your cat.
Minimize Stress and Anxiety
When their daily habits are interrupted, cats are prone to becoming anxious. Having a new pet in the house or relocating are two obvious reasons for this, but there might be other factors at play as well, such as a shift in your schedule, construction noise in the area, or a new dog barking in the neighborhood. Sometimes it just takes time for a cat to become used to a new environment. However, you may aid in the reduction of tension and anxiety by utilizing soothing pheromones (such as Feliway), supplements (such as Zylkene and Solliquin, which are often used), herbs, and/or pharmaceuticals.
Add More Litter Boxes
Cats may be very fussy about the litter box in which they sleep. Constipation can occur if a cat does not use a litter box because it is in an inconvenient position or because the cat does not like the type of litter box or litter used. You should have at least one litter box more than the number of cats in your household, and there should be at least one litter box on each floor of your residence. It is possible that you may need to experiment with several types of boxes and litter before you find what your cat like.
Try Fiber or Probiotics
When it comes to their litter boxes, cats may be rather fussy. Constipation can occur if a cat does not use a litter box because it is in an inconvenient position or because the litter box or litter is not appealing to him. You should have at least one litter box more than the number of cats in your household, and there should be at least one litter box on each floor. Depending on your cat’s preferences, you may need to experiment with various types of boxes and litter.
Ask Your Vet About Over-the-Counter Laxatives
The over-the-counter drugs and supplements listed below may help your cat’s constipation symptoms, but always check your veterinarian before administering any new vitamins or medications to your cat. There are various distinct forms of laxatives, each of which works in a different way. The majority of over-the-counter remedies operate by forcing the body to pull more water into the intestines, which helps soften the stool and make it easier to transit through the body. Because they produce dehydration in cats with underlying chronic conditions, laxatives can exacerbate the symptoms of those diseases in addition to causing dehydration in those cats.
Miralax (PEG 3350) is a medication that is widely prescribed for cats suffering from constipation.
Other laxatives, such as those intended for human use, can be problematic for cats.
Pet owners should use oil- or grease-based laxatives such as Laxatone only when their veterinarian advises it and should avoid using them for an extended period of time since they can impair a cat’s capacity to absorb nutrients from their diet.
Monitor Your Cat for Constipation
Check on your cat’s defecation and stool consistency at least twice a week at first, and then once or twice a week after that until the problem is resolved. If you detect your cat defecating particularly hard, dry feces or if you notice that your cat is straining while defecating, call your veterinarian right once. Keep an eye out for any of the other indicators of constipation, and call your veterinarian if you observe any of the other signs of constipation, especially diarrhea, which may quickly lead to dehydration.
Image used in the header: iStock.com/disqis
How to Tell if Your Cat Is Constipated: 8 Steps (with Pictures)
There are a variety of factors that might contribute to your cat’s constipation. Lack of physical activity, reduced water intake, obstructions caused by hairballs or other foreign objects, and stress are all potential causes of constipation. Any of these symptoms might indicate the presence of a more severe illness. It is also possible that constipation is caused by an underlying ailment, such as renal disease or arthritis. Despite the fact that you are intimately familiar with your cat, it is possible to overlook some of the indicators of constipation.
When the problem is identified early on, you may also try certain home remedies to try to alleviate the condition before it escalates to the point where your cat is in danger.
- First and foremost, make certain that your cat is utilizing the litter box. When a cat is constipated and feels uncomfortable when attempting to relieve themselves in the litter box, they may begin to link the discomfort with the box itself, leading them to avoid it completely in the future. If this occurs, you may see hard balls of fecal matter in other areas of your home, such as the bathroom, hallway, or closet. If this occurs, call your doctor immediately. Make the litter box as enticing as possible for your cat by removing any coverings that may have been placed over it before. If you follow these litter box guidelines, you will be able to monitor your cat’s potty habits on a regular basis and identify any difficulties before they become a larger problem.
- It is recommended that you place your litter box in an open area where your cat may readily access it. The litter box should not be concealed in a cupboard or tiny closet. Be mindful that an elderly cat or a cat suffering from arthritis may not be able to reach the litter box as easily as they previously did.
- Keep your cat’s litter box in an open place where it will be easy for him to get to it. The litter box should not be concealed in a cupboard or tiny closet
- Be mindful that an elderly cat or a cat suffering from arthritis may not be able to reach the litter box as easily as they previously did.
- In order to maintain normal bowel movements, a cat must have at least one normal bowel movement every day
- However, many cats may have two or more on a regular basis. Some goods, such as joint supplements and even pain medication, might help keep your cat comfortable when he or she is posturing in the litter box if your cat is older and has arthritis.
- ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. Pippa Elliott is an MRCVS veterinarian who practices in London. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a cat is constipated just because they are straining in the litter pan. Similar symptoms can be seen in other conditions such as diarrhea and urinary obstructions. Make a point of inspecting the tray and noting whether there is an urine puddle present as well as whether there are any soft stools. This will assist your veterinarian in determining the most appropriate course of therapy. 3 Observe for signs and symptoms of urinary tract infections. It is possible that your cat’s pain or straining is caused by a urinary tract obstruction if there are few to no pee spots visible, especially if there is fecal debris present. As a result, rapid veterinary help is required in this emergency circumstance.
- PROFESSIONAL ADVICE Veterinarian Dr. Elliott has over 30 years of expertise in the field of veterinary surgery and companion animal medicine. Dr. Elliott is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association (BVMS). She earned a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine and surgery from the University of Glasgow in 1987. Since 1995, she has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown. Veterinarian Dr. Pippa Elliott (MRCVS) Never assume that a cat is constipated just because they are straining in the litter tray. Similar symptoms might be seen in other conditions such as diarrhea or urinary obstructions. Inspect the tray thoroughly and make a note of whether or not an urine puddle or any soft stools can be seen there. As a result, your veterinarian will be better able to choose the best course of action. 3 Take note of any signs or symptoms of urinary tract infection. It is possible that your cat’s pain or straining is due to a urinary tract blockage if there are few to no pee spots visible, especially when there is fecal debris present. As a result, rapid veterinary help is required in this emergency circumstance
- 4 Take into consideration the use of lubricating aids. The following are some lubricating aids that you may give your cat at home to assist in the passage of fecal matter if necessary. Discuss the items available with your veterinarian, as well as their advice for use, before making a purchase. You can typically find lubricating treatments like Laxatone, which are meant to ease constipation and are flavored so that your cat will like taking them in their stores. In addition, because they are more enticing to your cat, these products are often less difficult to apply.
- These aids can also be put on the roof of your cat’s mouth, under the bridge of their nose, on the upper lip, or on the front paw of your cat’s foot. If you are unable to get the medication straight into your cat’s mouth, he or she will most likely lick the area behind their nose or between their paws if there is a foreign object in the area. If your cat appears to be becoming nervous or irritated, be patient and give them breaks. Use Laxatone, and feed your cat 3 cc (approximately 3 inches) 1-2 times day if you are using it. In addition to professional use, petroleum jelly (Vaseline) can be used safely at home. Use 1/2 teaspoon once per day as an occasional treat or put it into wet cat food for your cat.
- 5 Determine whether or not incorrect defecation is a recurring problem. If your cat has not been able to defecate regularly for 24 hours despite using a number of home remedies, it is time to check with your veterinarian about the problem. Constipation can be relieved with a laxative or stool softener, which your veterinarian may suggest in moderate instances. It may be essential to perform an enema or manual evacuation of the feces while under anaesthetic in more extreme situations. Surgery, on the other hand, is only necessary in the most severe cases of constipation. In the event that your cat has been constipated for an extended period of time and has developed obstipation, this may be prescribed.
- Obstipation is defined as your cat’s inability to empty their colon on their own, resulting in a big volume of feces building up in their colon. When this occurs, the colon of your cat may enlarge and lose its normal movement. Depending on the circumstances, surgery may be regarded to be a lifesaving procedure for your cat
- 1 Check to determine if your cat is eating in the manner in which it is accustomed. However, you should not depend entirely on changes in appetite to determine whether or not your cat is suffering from constipation. A change in appetite can also be a symptom of a variety of other problems
- For example, diabetes.
- Try inspecting your cat’s stomach if you observe any changes in their eating habits. While they are standing erect, apply light pressure on the belly to see if anything is wrong. Check their belly with your palm, moving it back and forth to check if you can feel any hard lumps. If hard fecal lumps are felt by you, take your cat to the veterinarian for a thorough physical exam to confirm your suspicions.
- 2 Eat a healthy diet to avoid constipation. A long-term diet adjustment or the addition of a high-fiber supplement advised by your veterinarian may be beneficial for certain cats who have a history of chronic constipation.
- It is safe for your cat to consume canned pumpkin, which is high in fiber and moisture content, and it is also inexpensive. If your cat only eats dry food, look for a kind that has a high fiber content, or try adding a little amount of Metamucil cookie or powder to their meal if they are willing to eat it.
- 3 Increase the amount of water your cat consumes. Constipation is frequently caused by dehydration, which is a prevalent cause of the condition. Cats get the bulk of the fluid they need from their food, which is a normal occurrence. Feeding a canned meal will provide a significantly higher water content than feeding a dry diet, assisting in the maintenance of adequate hydration.
- To promote increased drinking, you could also supply your cat with many water containers that are strategically placed throughout your home. Make sure the water in each of your cat’s bowls is clean, fresh, and aesthetically pleasing to him. Another wonderful technique to encourage your cat to drink enough is to install a water fountain in your home. Such fountains may be purchased at your local pet supply store.
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- It’s important to rule out the possibility that the problem is simply due to a filthy litter box
- Some cats will avoid a litter box that has been neglected. It is probable that your cat is constipated if it displays any of the following signs: infrequent or no defecation, small volumes of feces, or small amounts of watery stool with mucous or blood present. You may also have nausea and vomiting, as well as sadness and irritability.
About this article
If your cat screams out or hunches over when using the litter box, it is likely that it is suffering from constipation, according to the author of this article. To avoid this, watch for hard balls of fecal matter outside of the litter box, since your cat may quit using the litter box if they connect it with discomfort. Keeping an eye on your cat’s feeding habits can also help you determine whether they have shifted. If you have reason to believe they have altered, gently touch against your cat’s stomach to see if you can feel any hard lumps there.
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Constipation in cats may cause discomfort and restlessness, and it can even become a health risk if not treated immediately. Our Somerset County emergency veterinarian discusses the signs and symptoms of constipation in cats, as well as the reasons and treatment options for the illness.
What is constipation in cats?
Pooping is done by the majority of cats every 24 to 36 hours on average. Constipation is most likely the cause of your cat’s decreased pooping frequency, straining when she attempts to defecate, and failure to drop any waste in the litter box. In cats, it’s a frequent condition that’s typically mild enough to be treated at home with over-the-counter medications. If it occurs only seldom, there is no reason to be concerned; however, if it becomes a regular problem or if it has been more than 48 to 72 hours since she last had a bowel movement, you should consult your veterinarian.
Constipation can be a symptom of more significant health problems, and it can be quite unpleasant as well (and severe in some cases).
What causes constipation in cats?
Constipation can develop if things aren’t passing through the intestines in the regular manner. Constipation in your cat can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Having back pain or other concerns with your spine
- Being anxious or stressed Pain associated with arthritis
- Diets high in dry food (which can lead to constipation and dehydration in cats)
- She is not getting enough fiber in her diet. An obstacle, such as bones or thread, that prevents the colon from functioning properly. Having problems with your kidneys
- Excessive grooming (which results in an accumulation of hair in the digestive system)
- A cat’s megacolon (a colon that becomes so enormous the muscles no longer have enough room to compress it and hard, dry feces begins to accumulate inside)
- IBD (inflammatory bowel illness)
- Nerve difficulties
- Narrow spots, tumors, or other abnormalities inside the colon
- Chronic conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or renal disease
- Gastrointestinal parasites
- Anal sacs that have ruptured or been impacted (which might cause pain while defecating)
- Disease of the perianal region
However, even though constipation affects older cats more frequently than kittens, it can affect cats of any breed or age that are fed a low-fiber diet or who don’t drink enough water in their daily lives.
What are symptoms of constipation?
Cat excrement is often well-formed, a deep brown color, and wet enough that litter will adhere to it in the normal course of events. Constipation in cats manifests as in the form of firm, dry stools that end up either within or outside of their litter box (discomfort of trying to pass these stools may have your cat leaving the litter box before actually being finished). Constipation can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:
- When you need to go, you should enter and exit the litter box many times. Using excessive force or weeping in the litter box
- Avoiding the litter box. Not being able to defecate at all is a frustrating experience.
If your cat exhibits indications of pain when using the litter box, consult your veterinarian immediately as this might suggest significant urinary tract difficulties. Given that constipation is often associated with other health problems, you may also have symptoms of the underlying problem, which may include:
- Reduced hunger
- Increased or decreased water consumption
- Difficulty leaping up
- Muscle loss
- Weight loss
- Increased peeing
- Walking with a stiff gait
If your cat is exhibiting any of these signs, whether or not it is experiencing constipation, you should visit a veterinarian.
How is constipation in cats treated?
Despite the fact that some constipation disorders are moderate and may be addressed with dietary and lifestyle modifications, as well as at-home therapies, others may be serious and need the attention of a veterinarian. Serious situations may escalate to the point of becoming crises. When constipation occurs, it should be addressed as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of long-term damage to the colon caused by persistent distension of the colon. To effectively treat constipation in cats, it is necessary to first identify and, if feasible, rectify the underlying condition.
A veterinary emergency is defined as the inability to pass urine or feces, as well as the presence of pain when passing urine or feces.
It is important to emphasize that veterinarian knowledge is required in order to properly and successfully administer the enema – these should not be performed at home since several types of enemas developed for people are hazardous to cats (see below).
Cats suffering from chronic constipation or megacolon that do not respond to medication therapy may require surgical removal of the part of the large intestine that is causing the problem.
How to treat constipation in cats: At-Home Remedies
These at-home cures for constipation in cats may be effective in relieving the condition:
- Reduce stress and worry to the bare minimum
- Increase physical activity to aid in weight loss, anxiety reduction, and the promotion of regular bowel movement
- Try a different diet (lamb, chicken, special limited-ingredient diets, or hypoallergenic diets) to decrease inflammation and enable the intestines to function normally. As natural therapies, consume high-fiber foods, such as a spoonful of canned, pureed pumpkin once or twice a day, or ginger tea. Probiotics should be provided. Help your cat maintain a healthy weight by providing nutritious food. Over-the-counter laxatives (see your veterinarian before using them, since they may exacerbate symptoms in cats suffering from underlying or chronic disorders)
Should I watch my cat for constipation?
Initial observations should be made at least twice a week, then weekly or biweekly, to determine the frequency and consistency of your cat’s litter box deposits and stool consistency. It is important to call your veterinarian if you observe your cat straining when defecating or showing other signs of constipation. This is especially important if your cat is also suffering from diarrhea, as dehydration may rapidly become a problem.
Cat Constipation: Signs, Causes & Treatment
As a cat owner, you’re no doubt eager to discover out what’s causing your cat’s constipation and how you may alleviate the situation for your cherished feline companion. Throughout this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about cat constipation, from the early signs to veterinary cat constipation therapy and strategies to prevent the discomfort so that your cat may go back to being their regular joyful selves.
What is constipation in cats?
Cat constipation occurs when there is an abnormal buildup of feces in the colon, resulting in difficult bowel motions for the animal. A typical symptom is either a decreased capacity to pass feces or the complete lack of them altogether, depending on how severe it is. Feces linger in the colon, and because the colon’s primary function is to absorb water, the stools that remain in this area become extremely hard and dry, making it even more difficult for your cat to pass them.
Cat constipation symptoms
Cat constipation occurs when there is an abnormal buildup of feces in the colon, resulting in difficult bowel motions for the cat in question. A typical symptom is either a decreased capacity to pass feces or the complete lack of them altogether, depending on how severe the condition is. Due to the fact that the colon’s primary function is to absorb water, the feces that linger in the colon become extremely hard and dry, making it even more difficult for your cat to transit them down the digestive tract.
- Tense abdominal muscles
- Hard, dry, and tiny stools Some owners mistakenly believe they are having difficulties peeing because of the straining. Occasionally experiencing a lack of appetite. a hunched-over position
Constipation in Cats
Constipation is described as an abnormal buildup of feces in the colon, which results in difficult bowel motions, according to the American Constipation Association. This may result in a reduction in the frequency of feces or the lack of defecation. There is a feces retention in the colon (large intestine). Because one of the primary tasks of the colon is to absorb water, the held feces become hard and dry, making it even more difficult to pass the excrement. A constipated cat may strain in an attempt to defecate, which will cause belly pain.
Some people mistake the liquid feces for diarrhea, but in reality, as the cat strains, a little quantity of liquid fecal material squeezes around the hard fecal bulk, causing it to seem like diarrhea.
What causes constipation?
But it may occur at any age in cats, constipation is most prevalent in mature and middle-aged cats, although it may occur at any age in cats. Constipation is caused by a number of factors, the most significant of which are as follows:
- Hairballs, particularly in longhaired cats
- Ingestion of foreign things such as bones
- Pelvic injuries resulting in a restricted pelvic canal
- Obesity and/or a lack of activity
- And urinary tract infections
A clear reason cannot always be determined in all situations.
A frequent symptom linked with idiopathic (unknown cause)megacolon is constipation, which occurs in around half of all cases.
What is megacolon?
When it comes to constipation in cats, the most prevalent reason is megacolon, which is defined as an enlarged and weak colon that results in severe constipation. Colon muscles that have been weakened are unable to effectively push fecal materials out of the colon in this state. It is possible that this is related to neurological dysfunction, issues with the muscles lining the colon, or a combination of the two. Megacolon can occur as a primary condition or as a secondary condition following long-term constipation, depending on the circumstances.
Feces then build up in this unusually distended and enlarged colon, causing it to rupture.
How are constipation and megacolon diagnosed?
The clinical indicators and medical history of the cat can be used to make a diagnosis of constipation in the vast majority of instances, however. Cats that are affected by this condition frequently struggle in vain to defecate and may scream out in agony. Any feces that have been passed are firm and dry. In addition, the cat may display indications of lethargy, a reluctance to feed, stomach discomfort and distension, and even vomiting. As long as your cat is neither fat or tight, your veterinarian will most likely be able to palpate or feel the accumulation of fecal material in his or her colon.
A variety of diagnostic tests may be performed, including abdominal and pelvic radiographs (X-rays) to look for pelvic injuries, colonic strictures (a narrowing of the exit passage caused by a previous problem), and tumors, as well as bloodwork and urine testing to look for underlying disease conditions that can contribute to constipation and diarrhea.
How can constipation and megacolon be treated?
The treatment for constipation differs based on the underlying reason. An blockage such as a colonic tumor may necessitate the need for surgical intervention. Veterinary enemas and hand extraction of feces may be administered to a cat suffering from constipation in the first stages of the condition. The removal of feces from the colon is frequently accompanied by the administration of an anesthetic or sedative. Usually, intravenous fluid treatment is necessary to rectify fluid imbalances and dehydration that are contributing to the constipation’s progression.
- There are a variety of medications available to soften feces and encourage regular bowel motions in people with IBS.
- The more severely afflicted individuals may require medications that encourage the contraction of the colon to relieve their symptoms.
- Cats should defecate at least once every other day, if not more frequently.
- Make no modifications to your cat’s treatment routine without first discussing with your veterinarian beforehand.
Regular grooming of longhaired cats may help to prevent hair ingestion, and “hairball treatments” or “hairball diets” may help to reduce the chance of hairballs causing constipation in cats with long hair.
When might surgery be necessary?
Surgical intervention may be advised in the event of the development of megacolon or if the constipation is severe and medication therapy has proven fruitless. Surgery is used to treat colon cancer. A partial or subtotal colectomy is a technique that removes a piece of the colon that has been damaged by the cancer. Following this procedure, the majority of cats perform exceptionally well with minor adverse effects.
What is the long-term outlook for a cat with this problem?
According to the origin of the constipation, the long-term outlook varies; nevertheless, most cats may be effectively controlled without surgery and return to their usual, healthy lifestyles. Fortunately, the prognosis for cats that require surgery to treat megacolon is favorable.
Signs Your Cat Is Constipated & What You Can Do About It
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Poop is an unavoidable reality of life for cat parents. Most of us get well acquainted with our dogs’ toilet habits as a result of the daily sweeping of the litter box and the charting of their waste for veterinarian appointments. If you find your cat pooping less frequently in the litter box, or if you notice them laboring to defecate, it is possible that they are constipated. Constipation is characterized as “an abnormal buildup of feces in the colon, leading in painful bowel motions,” according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
They may use the restroom less regularly or possibly cease to use the restroom altogether.
We’ll go through the indicators of constipation in cats, as well as what you can do to help them get back on their feet.
Signs of constipation in cats
Pixabay What is the best way to identify whether your cat is constipated in the first place? Poop is the most obvious symptom of a problem, and if you have a single cat who uses just one litterbox, this is quite easy to detect. The majority of cats defecate between one and three times each day, according to Richard Goldstein, DVM, an associate professor at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. If more than one or two days have passed without a poop in the box, it may be necessary to consult with a veterinarian.
- Crying or vocalizing in an unusual manner when pooping
- Poops that are little and firm
- The presence of blood in the feces
- When you’re straining in the litter box,
Struggling in the litter box can also be a symptom of a urinary tract infection or a blockage, so keep an eye on your cat to see whether they’re attempting to go1 or2. If you observe your cat straining in the litter box, it’s important to call the doctor immediately. While constipation is very common and can be be treated at home, urinary blockages may become life-threatening very rapidly.
Common causes for cat constipation
Constipation may affect cats of any age, although it’s a little more prevalent among the elder cats of the household. According to a veterinarian who spoke with PetMD, elderly cats with arthritis may find it unpleasant to crouch in the litter box, causing them to retain their feces for prolonged periods of time and dry it up, resulting in constipation.
Cats can get constipated for a variety of causes, including the following:
- In addition to dehydration, which is frequently caused by renal illness, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism, there are hairballs and obesity as well as ingestion of foreign things.
Constipation in cats can occur for a variety of reasons that are not always visible or particular. It might be a one-time occurrence or it could become chronic as your cat gets older. Alternatively, it might be a side effect of a new drug or dietary modification. A veterinarian can assist you in determining the origin of the problem and the most appropriate therapy.
How to treat cat constipation at home
Occasionally occurring, moderate constipation may typically be detected and treated at home (though we encourage a visit to the veterinarian the first time, just to have a better understanding of what’s happening). Water consumption should be increased, according to PetMD experts. Water aids in the digestion of waste and the movement of waste through your cat’s system. Install a water fountain to encourage your cat to drink more water, or switch from dry to canned food to urge your cat to drink more water.
As an illustration:
- A tiny quantity of metamucilfiber supplement (yes, the same sort that people consume) or wheat bran can be added to one meal each day in modest amounts. Laxatone is an edible gel that is used to lubricate the gastrointestinal track. This canned pumpkin, which is available in numerous cat-friendly tastes, is high in fiber and is a popular home cure for both constipation and diarrhea in cats and dogs alike. Add 1-2 teaspoons to their food to make it more flavorful. Keep in mind that canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, should be used for this recipe.
Medical treatments for cat constipation
It is vital to seek veterinarian care if your cat suffers from persistent or severe constipation. A stool softener or laxative may be prescribed by your veterinarian if you have persistent constipation. They may deliver intravenous fluids to patients who are suffering from constipation due to dehydration. Alternatively, in the event of a blockage that requires quick removal, the veterinarian may provide a warm water enema. If you are not expressly informed and trained by your veterinarian, you should never conduct an enema at home.
In general, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, the prognosis for these surgical procedures is favorable.
How to prevent constipation in cats
Constipation is a common occurrence. It’s not always dangerous, and it’s not always preventable, so take precautions. However, there are several things you can do to assist prevent a case of clogged pipes from occurring. The most important thing you can do to keep your cat from being constipated is to make sure they have plenty of water in their diet. Replace their water bowl on a daily basis or install a fountain to promote drinking, and switch to canned food or fill the bowl with water or low-sodium broth to keep them hydrated.
In the first place, regular exercise will help them maintain a healthy weight, so preventing obesity and the health problems that come with it.
Aside from that, the more your cat moves their body, the easier it will be for waste to pass through their digestive system. Running, leaping, chasing, and climbing are all activities that assist to keep their systems running efficiently.
More about cat health
- Cats Can Help You Stay Healthy in 8 Ways
- How to Grow Cat Grass for Your Kitty and Why You Should
- The Presence of Roundworms in Cats Is No Joke—What Here’s You Need to Know
My Cat Is Constipated – What do I do?
How to Improve Your Health by Having a Cat Learn how to grow cat grass for your cat, as well as why you should do so. The Presence of Roundworms in Cats Is Not a Joke—What Here’s You Should Know
Causes Of Cat Constipation
If your cat is exhibiting indications of constipation, there might be a variety of contributing factors. They might range from a simple lack of water to a major underlying medical issue that requires treatment. The following are the most prevalent causes of feline constipation:
- Hairballs, excessive grooming, a low-fiber diet, dehydration, obesity, intestinal blockage, an abnormal colon shape, or inflammation of the colon are all symptoms of colonic dysmotility. Disorders of the nervous system
- The avoidance of the litterbox (the cat does not want to use the litterbox, thus he does not use it)
In most cases, cat constipation is accompanied by one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Dry, hard stools
- Bloody stools
- And a general lack of appetite The litter box is filled with crying or straining
- The absence of grooming
- Loss of weight
- Excursions to the litter box on a regular basis without defecating Lethargy, not replying to you as frequently as you would want
Inquire with Fuzzy about Cat Constipation.
What Can You Do In Home To Help With My Cat’s Constipation?
If you find that your cat is still generating some feces on a regular basis, there may be some preventative actions you can take to keep him from being constipated to the point of dehydration. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Maintain a constant supply of clean and fresh water outside to ensure that your cat has plenty to drink. Brush your teeth on a regular basis. Regular brushing of long-haired breeds or cats that are prone to hair balls can help keep extra hair out of the digestive track. Change the food that your cat eats. Feeding a canned diet and/or including more fiber in the food may be beneficial. Fiber can aid in the movement of waste through the digestive system more rapidly and readily
- Try putting pumpkin or natural bran cereal in our cats’ diet to see if it helps. Fiber supplements also help to enhance the amount of fiber in the diet. Some cats will require the use of a laxative, such as Miralax or Lactulose, in order to maintain their regularity. It is possible that you may need to contact with your veterinarian before beginning a laxative regimen. Use a cat probiotic that has been suggested by a veterinarian for digestive health.
When Should I See A Full Service Veterinarian?
Any of the following symptoms indicate that you should take your cat to a full-service veterinarian or an urgent care facility immediately:
- This is the second time in less than 48 hours that your cat has defecated. You haven’t given your cat anything to eat or drink in more than 48 hours. Your cat’s excrement contains blood, which you discover. vomiting that continues over a long period of time Fatigue has increased. Your cat has stopped grooming itself
- Any indications or symptoms of abdominal pain
Cat constipation can also be a sign of a separate, and potentially more dangerous, underlying condition in the animal. Having your cat inspected by a veterinarian may be necessary in the event that your feline companion requires more intense treatment such as enemas, surgery, or fluid administration. Your veterinarian will be able to determine whether or not more tests are necessary after completing a complete physical examination and discussing your cat’s symptoms with you.
Constipation in the Cat
Constipation is a word that refers to the inability to pass feces or the passage of feces infrequently or difficultly (stools). Constipation occurs when feces are kept in the colon or rectum (big bowel) for a longer period of time than is typical. As a result, the feces tends to become drier and harder (due to the absorption of water across the gut), which may aggravate the condition. Animals suffering from constipation may display indications of discomfort while attempting to defecate, which may be followed by prolonged straining to evacuate feces.
A disease known as megacolon develops as a result of recurrent bouts of constipation or obstipation.
Causes of constipation
Constipation in cats can be caused or exacerbated by a variety of different circumstances. A few of the most significant reasons and factors are stated below:
Behaviour and lifestyle
Cats may be hesitant to defecate if, for example, they are exposed to the following:
- A litter tray is filthy
- A litter tray is filthy There is rivalry for a litter tray (as there is with other cats)
- The sort of cat litter that is being used does not agree with the cat. The litter tray is located in an inconvenient or uncomfortable location. When it comes to utilizing a litter tray, the cat has had a poor experience
Older cats, in particular, may experience pain and discomfort as a result of conditions such as osteoarthritis, for example. This may make getting into and out of the litter pan, as well as getting into a defecation posture, uncomfortable. If there are any abnormalities in the colon or rectum, or if the cat has eaten something that causes stress to the lining of the colon as it goes through, there may be discomfort in the colon or rectum.
Having abscesses or other painful skin problems on or around the anus may also make it difficult or impossible to defecate.
The colon is responsible for the absorption of water from feces, and if cats are dehydrated (or do not drink enough water), they will attempt to reabsorb more fluid from the colon, resulting in dry and hard feces. When cats get older, they are more likely to have chronic renal disease, which results in higher urine output. As a result, cats become moderately dehydrated, which can contribute to constipation.
The colon is responsible for the absorption of water from feces, and if cats are dehydrated (or do not drink enough water), they will attempt to reabsorb more fluid from the colon, resulting in dry and hard feces and diarrhea. When cats get older, they are more likely to have chronic renal disease, which causes them to produce more urine. As a result, they become moderately dehydrated, which can contribute to constipation.
It is possible for the nerves that govern the contraction of the intestine to be injured as a consequence of trauma (for example, car accidents and ‘tail-pull’ injuries to the lower spine). Occasionally, faecal incontinence (uncontrolled defecation) may occur, but more frequently, faecal retention and constipation are observed (occasionally in conjunction with urinary retention – the inability to pass pee – as well).
Obstruction of the colon
In some cases, deformities of the pelvis (for example, a healed fracture of the pelvis following a traumatic injury) can result in a narrowing of the pelvic canal. When the colon is compressed, it can generate a buildup of feces behind the location where the constriction has occurred. If the condition is severe and leads in persistent constipation, a secondary megacolon (as described below) may form. Narrowing of the colon can also be caused by strictures, tumors, foreign substances, and other factors.
Massive constipation and obstipation can occur after several months of severe constipation and obstipation, resulting in a slow and irreversible decrease in the colon’s capacity to contract as a result of prolonged excessive distension. Megacolon can, on the other hand, manifest itself in cats as a primary illness with no apparent underlying reason — this is referred to as idiopathic megacolon. In this condition, a problem develops with the muscle of the colon’s wall itself, resulting in the colon’s inability to contract in a gradual manner.
Signs of constipation
Constipation in cats is normally straightforward to detect, and the following signs might be observed:
- Tenesmus is a term used to describe the straining and difficulty passing feces. Pain during passing feces
- A decrease in the frequency with which one defecates Stools (feces) consisting of tiny, hard and dry feces
A condition known as tenesmus, which is characterized by constipation and difficulty passing feces. Pain during passing feces; a reduction in the frequency of defecation Small, hard, dry feces (stools) are produced; they are hard and dry.
Diagnosis and investigation
Because there are so many different things that can cause or contribute to constipation, your veterinarian may need to do a variety of investigations in addition to inspecting your cat and speaking with you about what has been going on.
For people who suffer from frequent or severe constipation, this will be very useful. Investigations may involve the following:
- Tests on the blood and urine
- X-rays or ultrasounds
- Using a medical “camera” to examine the inside of the colon and, if necessary, take biopsies (a technique known as colonoscopy), endoscopy is performed. Under sedation or anesthesia, a thorough examination is performed.
X-rays or ultrasounds; blood and urine tests; Using a medical “camera” to examine the interior of the colon and perhaps take samples (a technique known as colonoscopy), endoscopy is used to treat colon cancer. Under sedation or anesthesia, a thorough examination is performed;
- Blood and urine tests
- X-rays or ultrasounds
- And other procedures. Endoscopy – the use of a medical “camera” to examine the inside of the colon and, if necessary, take biopsies (a process known as colonoscopy)
- Examining the patient thoroughly under sedation or anesthesia
- Lubricant laxatives are those that are intended to lubricate the colon in order to facilitate the transit of feces. Liquid paraffin is an example of this. In general, they are not suggested for use in cats since they are not safe for long-term usage and might cause severe issues if the cat inhales the liquid paraffin rather than ingesting it
- Nevertheless, some veterinarians prescribe them. Emollient laxatives are medications that are intended to increase water retention in the feces and, as a result, make the feces more palatable. They have a minor effect, but they can be effective on their own or in conjunction with other medications in certain situations. They work by pulling water into the feces, softening it, and they have a strong effect on the bowels. One of the most often used osmotic laxatives is lactulose, which is a sugar that is not absorbed by the body. This medication can be given to cats as a liquid (or mixed in with food), and the dose can be modified to get the desired effect. Although the actualise is not absorbed from the colon, its presence in the feces has the effect of drawing in and holding water. This laxative can be taken on its own or in conjunction with other laxatives. Stimulant laxatives– certain medications cause the contraction of the muscle in the wall of the colon, which aids in the movement of feces towards the anus (stomach). Each of these medications has a particular action on the body, and some are only safe for short-term usage.
Lubricant laxatives are those that are intended to lubricate the colon in order to facilitate the transit of feces through the body’s digestive system. Liquid paraffin is one example of this kind. In general, they are not suggested for use in cats since they are not safe for long-term usage and might cause significant issues if the cat inhales the liquid paraffin rather than ingesting it; however, there are several exceptions. Emollient laxatives are medications that are intended to increase the amount of water retained in feces, hence softening the feces.
- Lactulose is a non-absorbed sugar that is one of the most regularly used osmotic laxatives.
- Although the actualise is not absorbed from the colon, its presence in the feces has the effect of drawing in and retaining water in the system.
- In some cases, stimulant laxatives are used to help force feces towards anus.
- They have diverse effects on the body, and some are only safe for short-term usage.
The use of lubricant laxatives, which are meant to lubricate the colon and make the transit of feces easier, is recommended. Liquid paraffin is one such example. In general, they are not suggested for use in cats since they are not safe for long-term usage and can cause significant issues if the cat inhales the liquid paraffin rather than ingesting it. Emollient laxatives are medications that are intended to increase water retention in the feces and, as a result, make the feces softer. They have a minor effect, but they can be effective on their own or in conjunction with other medications in certain circumstances.
Lactulose, a non-absorbed sugar, is one of the most regularly used osmotic laxatives.
Although the actualise is not absorbed from the gut, its presence in the feces has the effect of drawing in and retaining water.
These medications have a variety of effects, and some are only safe for short-term usage.
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